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Moms are the best

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This is a shout out to all the Mothers out there. Happy Mother’s day! You are the best type of human there is….period. Normally, I would have been a little down on this day, because my daughter has had the “miraculous love” of a mother for a very short period in her life. This year, I feel better. ¬† My daughter, like all other kids in her class, had to make a gift for Mom. She wrote this. (I served as the proxy – substitute Mom instead of Dad) .

Dad who…..

Dad who gives me energy like the tornado, it keeps going around.

Dad who has the gift of art like Van Gogh painting the night sky

Dad who gives his best effort in everything he does

Dad who has a bright colorful personality like a box of crayons

Dad who has eyes like ebony pearls in a mine

Dad who loves me more than shimmering emeralds

Dad who is sneaky like a lion tip toeing in the high grass

Dad who dreams big like a baby going to the moon in an hour

Dad who has the best kid in the whole universe

(She told me it was directed to me because she had nobody else. This was a poignant moment. I know she misses Mom…a lot) . ¬†This, coming from a 10-yr old is a humungous shot in the arm to lift the spirits and keep going.

I also wanted to share yet another of her creative outputs (Thanks are due to her teacher Terri, who inspires them in so many ways). The context here is a field trip to the Legion of Honor museum. After the tour, the kids had to pick an object and write a short poem…

Wine Glass

The elegant glass shimmers in the light,

the rim glistening in the shadow,

blue as dark as the ocean,

and white as clear as day,

all sealed up in a hollow empty glass.

This would have made Mom very, very proud indeed!

Written by asterix98

May 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Fiftieth blog:Mother’s day

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This is my fiftieth blog post! Today is Mother’s day. Happy Mother’s day Lechi. I had not planned it like this. It just happened to be.

I also want to take a moment to thank my mom (Manni, thank you so much) and my mother-in-law(Mami, many thanks) for their tireless support.

The raison de etre for this blog is my wife’s passing from this world. As I have noted in the about page, its main intent was to serve as an outlet for my grief, and of others who knew her. Others have not been as forthcoming, for whatever reason. No matter. For me writing this blog has been cathartic. Immensely therapeutic. Through it, I have also discovered the joy, of writing, of conveying feelings, and more importantly, of dwelling on our shared life, of discovering how little had been said between us and how much more could have been, of what motherhood means (through the lens of my daughter).

We are rapidly coming up on the first anniversary (how time flies!) and the intervening months have been an intense roller coaster ride. At the best of times, it has been in the enjoyment of happy memories of us as a family. At the worst of times, it is reliving the nightmare of intense pain and suffering that Lechi had to endure before it finally consumed her. For Mahati, my daughter, likewise it has been remembering the good times with mom and the incredible void of missing her comfortable bosom in times of vulnerability. Both of us have learned to cope, in our own way, with these intense emotional undulations (and over time the amplitude is also slowly diminishing). [My daughter leans on me for emotional support, but deep within me, I know I am not able to provide in full measure what she is looking for. I am still working on it]. Nevertheless, there are environmental triggers that still sets us off emotionally. Just this morning, I was at a dance rehearsal, photographing/video taping it. It must have been the emotional tone of the songs, I was fighting back tears as I held the camera up to my face. I know it is on Mahati’s mind too. Recently, she told me, don’t remind me of the dates July 31, Aug 1 and Aug 2. These are very sad days…..

Sometimes, the road ahead seems very long and lonely. But then I know it is a journey that has to be made, a la Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, because I am responsible for our beautiful joint legacy:Mahati.

In my more rational moments, I have wondered, what is the nature of the grief that we experience when we lose someone very near and dear. I think it is a brain system involving the prefrontal cortex (part of the brain heavily implicated in simulating scenarios and predicting outcomes), mirror neurons, empathy(insula,amygdala), and a broken feedback control loop (an open loop system essentially). For the surviving partner, depending on the intensity and duration of the partner’s trauma, there is potential for the equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder(much like what the soldiers experience) to manifest itself. This is work in progress. I hope to write about this in more detail in a future blog.

What I have realized, and shared with my grief counseling group is this, we get used to the loss of the loved one but never really get over it. Their absence is always present.

Written by asterix98

May 9, 2011 at 7:18 am

missing mom

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Yesterday, on Mahati’s insistence I took her for a haircut. This activity was a first for me, having been Lechi’s domain. I did consult Mathangi. (thanks Mathangi!)

Children are amazing. I suppose, during the day, Makat had been imagining herself with different types of haircuts. Towards the end of the work day, she had been calling me, every few minutes, to discuss her preference. One minute, she would call and say, “Appa,I think I want chin length hair.” Next phone call, in a few minutes, and it would be better if it were shoulder length, and so on. Eventually, she settled on shoulder length and layers.

Back home, it was interesting to observe her get used to her own new look (plenty of visits to the mirror). I was fascinated thinking she was updating her own mental image. I guess she was also running scenarios in her mind about how her new look would be perceived by others.

I was also thinking Lechi would have been delighted and she may have exclaimed something like “Aappu, Sheela, Deepa, Azhaga irrukaale!” and given Mahati a big hug.

I am not sure what was weighing on her mind, going to bed. She woke me at about 4AM and asked “Appa, how many pieces of the Wish Machine have you completed?” I answered 700. (Our target is 1000 pieces to build the Wish Machine – the magical tool that would grant you know what. This is part of our own year of magical thinking). In the darkness, I felt her silently wiping away tears. Gut wrenching stuff! All I could do was hug her.

Today, in the bath, out of the blue, she said “Appa, can I take the day off from school on Mother’s day? You know they make us do stuff during Art class. Besides, what is the point? Even if I make something who would I give it to? I’d rather do something on Father’s day”. I was tongue-tied. These episodes tug at your heart with the biggest hook there is.

A few days ago, I did try asking her if she would permit me to hang a picture of mom in the house. She straight away refused.

Tomorrow, both of us will visit Kara.

Written by asterix98

January 19, 2011 at 7:19 am

Posted in children, mom

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